U.S. Department of Education awards $4.5 million in federal GEAR UP grants to Auburn University

Published: October 01, 2014
Updated: October 02, 2014
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AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Auburn University’s Office of the Vice President for University Outreach will receive a total of $4.45 million over the next seven years as part of two U.S. Department of Education Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, or GEAR UP, grants awarded in Alabama. The grants will be administered as part of University Outreach’s K-12 and College Access department.

“Increasing college accessibility for students in underserved communities is a key priority of Auburn’s strategic plan,” said Royrickers Cook, assistant vice president of University Outreach. “GEAR UP will enable us to greatly expand our K-12 initiative and engage significantly more Alabama students.”

The University Outreach award is part of two larger Department of Education GEAR UP grants presented in Alabama, which represent a total commitment to the state of more than $6.4 million annually for the next seven years. One grant focuses on ensuring that more low-income students across the state are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. The second grant will provide academic support to sixth and seventh grade students in Birmingham City Schools through their first year in college. Auburn University Outreach will collaborate on both initiatives through a partnership agreement.

“The GEAR UP grants will play a significant role in K-12 outreach efforts to help close the opportunity gap and move students closer to the intended outcomes of the Alabama Department of Education Plan 20/20,” said Stacey Nickson, director of K-12 outreach at Auburn University.

(Written by Ralph Foster.)

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